Bringing new business and jobs to San Leandro.
In the 1950’s and 1960’s San Leandro civic leaders designed and built the infrastructure to attract manufacturers including food processing, glass, assembly, foundries, chemicals and lumber. The city had excellent water, power, gas, rail, and freeways but most importantly it had the vision to vote for bonds to build its own sewer plant. The approach worked and, until the 1970’s, the economy of San Leandro flourished including big names like Caterpillar and Peterbuilt. Since that time, businesses have downsized, closed or moved from the Bay Area in search of low labor costs, cheap raw material, minimal regulation, low cost land and tax breaks. The result is an abundance of well-located, relatively affordable but underutilized property. This provides the City of San Leandro, technology-oriented companies, and private investors with an opportunity to affordably re-invigorate ourselves with the next generation of industrial businesses.
These new industries will require additional infrastructure to leverage communications technologies including fiber optic cable (e.g. Smart Grid, the San Leandro Fiber Loop, long haul carriers and dark fiber), ready access to software programmers and designers, and computing capability (e.g. data centers, cloud services) to create an urban manufacturing environment. These new service industries and manufacturing will both bring in new people, assets and value. Manufacturing is and will remain the source of jobs for a large segment of the population – perhaps not as people-intensive as before but still significant. A wide range of new businesses start up every year; in San Leandro, we can especially leverage the people assets of the Bay Area, along with plentiful land, power and water. Clean Tech, software and businesses not yet envisioned will have a high probability of leveraging technology. We have already seen service businesses like EBay and Amazon rise to large size–along with manufacturing such as the Toyota/Tesla joint venture, and battery, flywheel, fuel cell, water treatment and other industries in which the software component is a significant part of the assembly.
It is the job of economic development to make this easy.